Hitler′s hometown strips him of honorary citizenship | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 08.07.2011
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Hitler's hometown strips him of honorary citizenship

Following the lead of several other Austrian towns and under pressure from journalists, Braunau, Austria, the town where Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler was born in 1889, has removed him from its list of honorary citizens.

The house where Hitler was born

Hitler was born in Braunau, and later was an honorary citizen

A city council member from Braunau, Austria confirmed Friday that the council had voted unanimously to remove Adolf Hitler from its list of honorary citizens.

The Nazi leader was born in the city, which sits on the border with Germany in northwestern Austria, in 1889. Like several other Austrian towns, Braunau made Hitler an honorary citizen during the 1930s when the Nazis were at the height of their power.

"We revoked the citizenship preventively, to solve the issue once and for all," Green party councilman Manfred Hackl told the German news agency dpa.

Some Austrian newspapers reported, however, that there was no certainty that the city of Braunau had itself made Hitler an honorary citizen. However, Ranshofen, which became part of Braunau in 1939, had previously honored Hitler in this way.

Public pressure

The building where Hitler was born in Braunau

Braunau's mayor said the city was taking its "historical and political responsibility"

The move followed pressure from journalists who recently began a drive to identify towns where Hitler is still honored.

"The media created some pressure," confirmed Hackl.

The journalists were inspired by events in the Austrian town of Amstetten where a measure to strip Hitler of his honorary citizenship was passed, despite the fact that two members of the far-right Freedom Party chose to abstain from the vote. Waidhofen an der Ybbs and Klagenfurt recently took similar action.

The mayor of Braunau noted in a statement that the vote there had been unanimous, with the Freedom Party joining the other council members in the symbolic act.

"In this manner, the city council of Braunau set a clear, unambiguous example and assumed historical and political responsibility," said Mayor Johannes Waidbacher.

Author: Holly Fox (dapd, dpa)
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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